ESTIMATING SITE OCCUPANCY RATES WHEN DETECTION PROBABILITIES ARE LESS THAN ONE

ESTIMATING SITE OCCUPANCY RATES WHEN DETECTION PROBABILITIES ARE LESS THAN ONE Nondetection of a species at a site does not imply that the species is absent unless the probability of detection is 1. We propose a model and likelihood-based method for estimating site occupancy rates when detection probabilities are <1. The model provides a flexible framework enabling covariate information to be included and allowing for missing observations. Via computer simulation, we found that the model provides good estimates of the occupancy rates, generally unbiased for moderate detection probabilities (>0.3). We estimated site occupancy rates for two anuran species at 32 wetland sites in Maryland, USA, from data collected during 2000 as part of an amphibian monitoring program, Frogwatch USA. Site occupancy rates were estimated as 0.49 for American toads ( Bufo americanus ), a 44%% increase over the proportion of sites at which they were actually observed, and as 0.85 for spring peepers ( Pseudacris crucifer ), slightly above the observed proportion of 0.83. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Ecological Society of America

ESTIMATING SITE OCCUPANCY RATES WHEN DETECTION PROBABILITIES ARE LESS THAN ONE

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Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Regular Article
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1890/0012-9658%282002%29083%5B2248:ESORWD%5D2.0.CO%3B2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Nondetection of a species at a site does not imply that the species is absent unless the probability of detection is 1. We propose a model and likelihood-based method for estimating site occupancy rates when detection probabilities are <1. The model provides a flexible framework enabling covariate information to be included and allowing for missing observations. Via computer simulation, we found that the model provides good estimates of the occupancy rates, generally unbiased for moderate detection probabilities (>0.3). We estimated site occupancy rates for two anuran species at 32 wetland sites in Maryland, USA, from data collected during 2000 as part of an amphibian monitoring program, Frogwatch USA. Site occupancy rates were estimated as 0.49 for American toads ( Bufo americanus ), a 44%% increase over the proportion of sites at which they were actually observed, and as 0.85 for spring peepers ( Pseudacris crucifer ), slightly above the observed proportion of 0.83.

Journal

EcologyEcological Society of America

Published: Aug 1, 2002

Keywords: anurans ; bootstrap ; Bufo americanus ; detection probability ; maximum likelihood ; metapopulation ; monitoring ; patch occupancy ; Pseudacris crucifer ; site occupancy

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